By Guy Page
Vermonters watching Dinesh D’Souza’s “2000 Mules” Saturday night might be interested to know that Vermont voting law passed in 2020 includes several elements used by the perpetrators of the large-scale electoral fraud the filmmaker says took place in six key ‘battleground states” in the 2020 presidential election.
“2000 Mules” describes how the electoral reform group True The Vote bought cellphone data on the open market, accessed publicly-available security video of voting drop boxes, and identified ‘mules’ depositing thousands of ballots, which had been harvested by not-for-profit groups, into multiple drop boxes, often in the dead of night.
To date there are no sustained allegations of ballot harvesting fraud in Vermont. However, Vermont law for the 2020 Pandemic Election does feature several elements crucial to practicing electoral fraud as described in “2000 Mules”.
Universal mailed ballots, and dropboxes. S348, the 2020 Temporary Elections Procedures law passed early in 2020, authorized universal mailed ballot voting and “creating early or mail ballot collection stations.” In at least some Vermont municipalities, ballot collection included ballot dropboxes (see Colchester photo). Dropboxes were deemed necessary to promoting voter turnout while protecting public health during the pandemic.
Ballot harvesting. The Vermont Legislature agreed with Secretary of State Jim Condos that ballot harvesting – the practice of third parties collecting ballots from voters and delivering them to election officials – would be permitted. Only candidates and campaign workers could not participate in ballot harvesting. Not-for-profit organizations, however, would be permitted. The Legislature specifically rejected a proposed June 12 amendment by Republican Reps. Scott Beck and Heidi Scheuermann limiting ballot harvesting to family members.